Bothered by acne flare-ups on your face, neck or back during certain times of your cycle? Many dermatologists blame high testosterone during Week 2 of your cycle, which causes your body to churn out more pore-clogging oil. Other skin experts say inflammation caused by Week 3’s water retention leads to breakouts. Whatever the cause of your acne flare-ups, if you’re like me and prefer to skip pricey, chemical-filled drugstore and prescription products and want to use something natural, here’s the solution I swear by: Topical vitamin B3—also known as niacinimide—either in a gel, like Metazene from lifelinknet.com ($19.95 per 2-ounce bottle), or from a twice-weekly mask made from water and a teaspoon of Brewer’s yeast (found in your supermarket’s baking aisle). A study in the International Journal of Dermatology reveals that acne-prone patients who applied a solution containing vitamin B3 to their skin every day had 14% fewer pimples after eight weeks than those using the prescription anti-acne topical medication clindamycin. Credit goes to this nutrient’s ability to reduce oil production and inflammation causing your breakouts. Bonus: Other studies show vitamin B3 also improves your skin’s overall appearance by fading dark spots and reducing fine lines!
HORMONOLOGY TIP: Banish hormone-fueled acne with B3
Gabrielle Lichterman, founder of Hormonology® and a longtime women’s health journalist, is leading the growing movement among women to live in sync with their menstrual cycles and know more about all the ways their hormones impact their moods, health and behavior. This is a movement that was launched in 2005 with her groundbreaking book, 28 Days: What Your Cycle Reveals about Your Love Life, Moods and Potential, and her creation of Hormonology®. She offers a variety of tools--including her popular Hormone Horoscope® Apps, free eBooks, infographic "cheat sheets", videos and tips--to share vital information about hormones.